Friday, February 8, 2013

I wrote a post last year...

...after Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin survived his recall election. The gist of it was, it's a consolation prize at best:

...the Republicans and Democrats in the Dairy State are essentially fighting over a dead body. The economy in Wisconsin, if it ever was anything special, has long been lost to history ... Stuck between prosperous Minneapolis and Chicago, Wisconsin is resembling -- more and more -- Indiana.

Today, I came across a piece comparing the economy of Wisconsin with its neighbor's to the west (my emphasis):

Minnesota’s per capita income is higher than Wisconsin’s in both pre-tax and after-tax terms.

In terms of jobs, Minnesota’s unemployment rate is lower than Wisconsin’s and its rate of job growth is higher.

Wisconsin’s per capita income relative to the national average has, in the best light, stagnated since the 1950s. Minnesota passed Wisconsin in the late 1960s and the gap has grown every year since then.

The bottom line: Minnesota’s economy fared better than Wisconsin’s during the most recent recession and recovery. Further, average incomes for Minnesotans have been higher than Wisconsinites since the late 1960s, even accounting for tax differences.

These data imply that companies that want to avail themselves of a deeper pool of unemployed workers whom they can pay lower wages would do well in Wisconsin. Perhaps setting up a subsidiary in Wisconsin (to take advantage of lower labor costs) and keeping the high-skill, high-income headquarters in Minnesota is the way to go for those businesses.

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